Accelerating the Transition of Technologies Created through the U.S. Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research Program
For more information on this publication, visit http://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/RGSD405.html Published by the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif. © Copyright 2017 RAND Corporation R® is a registered trademark Limited Print and Electronic Distribution Rights This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited.
... is prohibited. Permission is given to duplicate this document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial use. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.html. The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors. Support RAND Make a tax-deductible charitable contribution at www.rand.org/giving/contribute www.rand.org iii Abstract The objective of this dissertation is to better understand the contextual effects on the success of the transition of technologies generated through the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and to pull out policy recommendations for facilitating the way the SBIR transitions technologies from abstract concepts to concrete engineering capabilities that the U.S. can use in its military systems. To that end, I explore how social (network), spatial (region), and industrial (technology) factors affect the SBIR's ability to do this. Specifically, I examine the contextual effects of network, regional, and industrial characteristics on the success of technology transition using various regression models. To incorporate multilevel factors, in particular, I employ hierarchical linear models with firm-and region/ industry-level variables related to state-level innovation capacity, anchor tenants, innovation brokers, technology life cycle, technology market, technological and network positions of SBIR awardees in relation to the DOD (including its research laboratories) and prime contractors. Findings of this dissertation include: small firms' larger SBIR awards, higher age, more cutting-edge technology or high-tech focus are more likely to lead to success in technology transition; small firms' higher technological distance (in particular, relative to prime contractors) and more central network position are more likely to facilitate technology transition; the number of defense labs in a state may matter in small firms' winning federal procurement contracts and improving their return on investment; the number of DOD mentors (i.e., large prime contractors who signed up for mentoring small businesses) may be important in protégés's (i.e., small firms) winning federal procurement contracts; small firms nested in industries that have higher inflection points of S curves (i.e., more recently emerging industries) are likely to win more federal procurement contracts; and small firms nested in industries that have larger gross output are likely to file more patent applications.